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New campaign informs students about academic advising

A new campaign is underway at UNB Fredericton to make your academic advisor a buzzword on campus.

The Keep Calm and See Your Academic Advisor campaign is a new initiative with the goal to promote the academic advising process and inform students about its importance.

“This is one way to start building the conversation among advisors and their students, and also help generate a campus environment that is conducive or supportive around advising so that it values advising as an essential aspect of teaching and learning,” said Neil Cole, academic advising support coordinator with the Centre for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

The campaign has two main components. One is the distribution of posters and magnets with the campaign motto around campus and to students by their advisors.

The other is a website that provides information about academic advising and also links to UNB’s academic advisor directory where students can find out who their advisor is. The student website is paired with another website for the advisors themselves.

“It’s very much a multi-pronged approach and the campaign is targeted at getting the students to see their advisors,” said Cole.

There are many different reasons why a student may need to contact their academic advisor and Cole said that the campaign was also put in place to inform students of some of the areas where their advisors can help them.

“It’s more than just picking courses and so we want to have a clear understanding among students, faculty and staff what is entailed,” he said.

“It’s usually through the advisors that students come to get connected and you start picking your courses through your advisor, exploring your academic and career plans through your advisor so it really is key.”

The slogan “Keep calm and see your academic advisor” was developed with the hope that by using a phrase so common in pop culture, students would remember it.

“The reason we picked that motto is because it’s classic. People recognize it. It actually rings true, more than any other joke,” Cole said.

“We want it to be a familiar phrase. That eventually it clicks when there’s something you need help with, something’s gone awry, so that it becomes automatic. That [students] think about their advisor first. That they don’t panic about what to do. We want to eliminate that fear and anxiety.”

The campaign is only in the beginning stages and Cole said he sees it, as well as the larger concept of academic advising, becoming a bigger part of student life in the future.

“We’re treating this as a marathon, not a sprint, because we’re trying to build the campus environment so that advising is seen as a critical aspect — a component of learning. ‘Keep calm and see your academic advisor’ really is an important message to give to students. That when things get rough, see their advisor.”

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